It can be extremely frustrating to find out that someone came onto your property and got hurt when you weren’t home. You may not have security cameras to let you know what exactly happened, but the person who got hurt might still be trying to make a claim against your homeowner’s insurance.
Homeowner liability cases like this are challenging to deal with, because the facts about what happened can easily become skewed. While it’s important that someone who was unintentionally injured on your property is able to get care, you also want to make sure that your insurance rates stay low and that you aren’t being taken advantage of.
California’s comparative negligence rules
One of the things you should look into is a comparative negligence rule. For example, if a visitor comes onto your property and does something unsafe before getting hurt, they may be held partially or completely at fault for the accident.
For instance, if a teenager comes onto your property unannounced, walks to the stop of your entryway staircase and jumps off when it’s clearly unsafe to do so, they may not have much of a case against you.
How do you know who’s at fault when you weren’t there?
This is where cases become tricky. If the victim is reporting an injury on your property, you should look for video footage when possible. Ask neighbors if they have any cameras facing your property or if they witnessed the other party on your property before they were injured.
If 911 was called to the scene, there may also be a police report that has at least some information about who was around and what the victim claims happened. You may be able to use this to help fight against an unfair claim.
With the right defensive strategy, it may be possible to get the results you’re looking for and to protect your rights as a homeowner. Problems with claims made against you aren’t always easy to resolve, but you do deserve an opportunity to learn more about what happened and to determine if you are truly at fault.